Located on the Dan River, Danville, Virginia was the domain of the Dan River Mills Corporation, one of the largest textile mills in the world. The company employed approximately 12,000 people from the region. In 1960, local Black high school students sat-in at the public library, where the Confederate government held its final meeting before surrendering the Civil War. The student action sparked demonstrations that continued throughout the early sixties. In 1963, local Movement leaders invited SNCC to town to organize direct action protests. The city responded violently to Black activism, using water hoses and other weapons to quell protests.